Gemotoriseerde gehandicaptenvoertuigen.

Schepers, J.P.

The population in the Netherlands is aging. Older people tend to grow old in place. This is guided by policy measures, for instance subsidies for adapting homes to special needs. It is however striking that the locations of essential services like groceries, drugstore, family doctor, bank or money machine get upscaled out of the neighbourhoods to other, more central locations. As a result travel needs and travel choices will change. Mid-range distances (1 to 7 kilometer) become more important compared to short-range distances. At the same time older people may suffer from health-related limitations. They must often cease walking or using public transport before they cease driving. After losing the ability to drive a car an important part of their mobility needs cannot be met (‘transport poverty’). This study focused on alternative motorised vehicles to support the mobility of disabled people. The following motorised vehicles for disabled people were included in this study: open scootmobiles and 45-kilometercars for disabled people (see picture at the left). The maximum dimensions of these vehicles are: 1.10 metres wide, 2 metres tall and 3.50 metres long and the maximum speed inside and outside built-up areas is 30 and 40 km/h, respectively (unless otherwise indicated). Drivers may use the roadway, except roads for cars and motorways, and also on bike paths and footpaths. These vehicles have the same legal status on bicyclepaths as cyclists and the same legal status as pedestrians on footpaths. 45-kilometercars for disabled people are as expensive as small cars; open scootmobiles are cheaper. Electric wheelchairs were not part of this study. The conclusions of this study are: · Open scootmobiles are suitable to travel mid-range distances and are affordable. Their use is expected to rise from 150.000 with the situation as it stands to around 600.000 in 2030. The travel needs of the future elderly are met by open scootmobiles. The number of 45-kilometercars for disabled people is expected to stay small, a few thousand. These vehicles are less affordable. · Around 5 users per year die while using a scootmobile in the Netherlands. The risk of death during the use of a scootmobile (per kilometre) is comparable to the risk for pedestrians. Given the expected rise in the use of open scootmobiles the Transport Research Centre advises: · Vehicle characteristics: to limit the maximum speed for open scootmobiles to 15 km/h, to convince manufacturers to produce scootmobiles with an active braking system (like the brakes of a bicycle). · Competences: to provide users with adequate training · Design of roads and environment: to provide enough room for scootmobiles on footpaths, ramps that are not too steep, etc. (Author/publisher)

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20072135 ST [electronic version only]

['s-Gravenhage], Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat, 2007, 46 p., 38 ref.

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